Sony rep questions appeal of Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is meant to bring real 3D capability to the handheld market. But one Sony rep says Nintendo could have trouble finding an audience for the 3DS – especially among the younger users drawn to the Nintendo DS platforms.

3D technology is coming to the Nintendo DS line. But one Sony exec is questioning how popular the Nintendo 3DS will be among younger users.

Sony is on the warpath.

Last week the electronics company lashed out at Nintendo and Microsoft in an advertisement promoting the PlayStation Move motion-control system. Now a Sony rep has suggested that the Nintendo 3DS, a handheld gaming device that utilizes 3D technology – and obviates the need for those geeky glasses – could get a chilly reception from consumers.

"Having been in the portable space for quite awhile, I think it's an interesting move but one I'd like to see where they go from a demographic standpoint," John Koller, the director of hardware marketing at Sony, told the gaming website IGN. Koller added that "8- and 9-year-olds playing 3D is a little bit of a stretch given where some of our research is right now."

Koller said that Sony was exploring the use of 3D, but said the company's focus remained on the console market, and not in handheld systems such as the PlayStation Portable. "There's a tremendous amount of opportunity on PlayStation3 with 3D," Koller said. "The amount of interest in 3D from the retail side and game publishers is off the charts. We know we have a hit with 3D on PS3 and we're going to concentrate our efforts there."

Earlier this week, Nintendo took the wraps off the 3DS, which will reportedly get a full announcement at E3, the annual electronics expo. To judge by a video currently making the round of the Web, the Nintendo 3DS appears to employ some sort of parallax mapping – a technology already in use on the Hitachi Wooo H001 cellphone. (Sorry kids, the Wooo is only available in Japan.)

Is Koller correct? Is 3D technology a better fit for console titles than handheld devices such as the Nintendo DS? Drop us a line in the comments section.

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